BITCOIN MILLIONAIRE DONATES FORTUNE
A German software developer who made a fortune from bitcoin has given the environmentalist Green Party one of the biggest political donations in the country’s history in hopes it will win this year’s national election and consider banning the digital currency.
Moritz Schmidt’s donation of 1 million euros to the Greens made headlines this month, as the party traditionally receives only small sums.
“I have benefitted immensely from the bitcoin bubble. Its been a wild ride, and the proceeds are unearned riches really,” Schmidt told The Associated Press. “I’ve been sort of waiting for the right opportunity to donate a larger sum.”
The 39-year-old, from the northeastern town of Greifswald, said he bought a couple thousand euros worth of bitcoin in 2011, shortly before it crashed, wiping 90% off the value of his holdings. Since then, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have repeatedly surged and slumped on investors hoping to turn a quick profit.
Schmidt, who made about 2 million euros ($2.4 million) by gradually selling his bitcoin over the years, said he learned in 2017 that the virtual currency consumes a vast amount of electricity. While the details are hotly debated by bitcoin fans and critics, experts say the power required to generate and trade cryptocurrencies is considerable.